For the ninth annual Fayette on the Page countywide reading initiative, kicking off Sept. 8, adults and teens throughout Fayette County are encouraged to read “True Grit,” Charles Portis’ comic masterpiece of honor, loyalty and revenge in the Old West.
Entertaining and educational free public activities related to the book will take place at the Fayette County Public Library in Fayetteville throughout September and October.
“True Grit,” published in 1968, tells the fictional story of Mattie Ross, a strong, self-reliant 14-year-old determined to see the murder of her father avenged. The action of the novel occurs sometime in the 1870s in the wild, untamed frontier of Arkansas and the Indian Territory that then lay to the west.
The narrator of the tale is an older, grownup Mattie, looking back on the adventures of her youth from a mature perspective. The intrepid girl, who neither suffers fools gladly nor takes “no” for an answer, goes looking for a U.S. Marshal with “true grit” to accompany her into Indian Territory in pursuit of Tom Chaney, the man who killed her father. She finds Rooster Cogburn: one-eyed, hard-drinking, and said to be afflicted with neither mercy nor fear.
Those who have seen one or both of the acclaimed movie versions of “True Grit” might be excused for having drawn the conclusion that Rooster Cogburn is the main character of this story. Readers of the novel will be able to maintain no such illusion: Mattie Ross is the marvelous, unforgettable star of this show. Her wry account of events carries the reader along on a subtly humorous and sneakily profound journey into the frontier—not only of the Old West, but of the human spirit.
Vengeance, it turns out, certainly has its rewards … but it also exacts a price.
The Fayette on the Page festivities begin on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a free outdoor concert and hot dogs from the grill by the gazebo in the library parking lot. The event takes place from 5-7 p.m. and is open to all. Music is by Bud & Hank, and food is free while it lasts.
Those who attend the kickoff party will learn more about the rest of the “True Grit” programming planned through Oct. 27, including film screenings, a book discussion, and a readers’ theatre presentation. Copies of “True Grit” will be available for checkout to PINES library card holders at the Fayette County Public Library from now through October.
Any Georgia resident who does not already have a PINES card can receive one on the spot by showing proof of current address and filling out a brief application. Check with the library for a complete schedule of Fayette on the Page 2016 programs and activities.
Thanks to generous financial support from the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library, all Fayette on the Page programs and events are free, and the public is invited to attend.
The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54.
For additional information about “Fayette on the Page: One Book, One Community,” please contact the library at 770-461-8841 or visit online at www.fayettecountyga.gov/public_library.